Our ref: FOI-2392-1617
Thank you for your email received by us on 1 March 2017 asking for information about overcrowding on London Underground (LU) trains.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our Information Access Policy. I can confirm we hold the information you require.
1) How many times in the last year the train alarm was activated due to overcrowding incidents on the tube?
In 2016/17 up to Period 12 (March) there were 19 instances of a train alarm being activated due to overcrowding.
2) Could you please report the procedures you have in place if a tube gets faulty in the tunnel and the train is very overcrowded and a passenger activated the alarm?
If a tube becomes faulty in the tunnel: The driver would immediately contact his/her control centre by train radio to advise of the fault. Train Drivers are trained to overcome faults on trains and would do so in the vast majority of cases. The control team can also offer expert advice to overcome the fault. The control team would quickly despatch a more highly qualified train technician where there was concern that the fault may not be overcome quickly by the train driver.
And the train is very overcrowded: The driver would relay numbers of passengers to the control team. We have a target to get trains moving in under one hour. If this is not achievable we have controlled options to bring an empty rescue train to the rear, transfer the customers via a safe method and bring customers back to the next station. This is a rare occurrence.
Passenger activating the alarm: Passenger Emergency Alarms are activated regularly. The driver is trained to stop the train if within station limits, advise the control team who will despatch station staff to assist. If a train is between stations when the alarm is operated the driver will continue to the next station where help can be more easily sought.
3) Were there any causalities on the tube due to overcrowding? if yes how many in the last year?
There have been 13 recorded number of instances where people have fainted/ill on a tube due to overcrowding where an alarm was activated.
Please note that overcrowding is not always the direct cause of the alarm activation and may be a coincidence or one of many causes e.g. person ill on train. Therefore incidents of customers being ill where there is no mention of the train being overcrowded when the alarm is activated have been excluded.
If this is not the information you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
Transport for London